Pendleton Travel Guide, Oregon
Pendleton is set at the western foot of the Blue Mountains in northeastern Oregon.
The city may not be most people's idea of a vacation destination, but the city makes a nice and refreshing stopover on the interstate.
Being considered a western town, Pendleton really retains the feel and mood of a small Western town even if the cowboys were not the first to inhabit the region. At the beginning the area was inhabited by the Indian tribes, but the richness of the area attracted people who saw the land crossed by Umatilla River very good for farming and sheep ranching and wheat farming became especially profitable becoming the cornerstone of the local economy. Other factors like the striking of gold in the nearby mountains also helped the city’s economy.
The city as you see it today has lost a bit of the rush and action it had in the past when the many saloons and bordellos were full of people looking for some fun after a day’s work. Today Pendleton is an adamant, loopy, affable place that doesn't seem to mind being a little bizarre or residing far from the center of things, but one that still has something to offer those who bother to visit it, its historic district preserving much of the old buildings including some Victorian homes and a former bordello that retains its old look.
There is an interesting tour taking the visitor to the historic places located underground where in the past there was a lot of action going on. The tour is operated by Pendleton Underground Tours that will present the former dark side of the city. The 10 miles of underground passages is the location where most of the illegal action was going on from gambling to opium consumption and selling. It was especially the home for the Chinese laborers who were not allowed to come to the surface during the night.
What makes tourists come especially to Pendleton is the Pendleton Round-Up that takes place once a year in the second week of September. During this period the city is the site of the one of the biggest and oldest rodeos in the in the West that has been held since 1910. Everybody who loves rodeo and a good show poops up and the city is more crowded than in the rest of the year so planning ahead and making your reservation is a good idea.
Besides the rodeo events there are other events just as entertaining including the Happy Canyon Pageant, a nightly pageant that presents a history of Native American; The Hall of Fame presenting an interesting collection of cowboy and Indian mementos; country-music concerts and a parade. Everything is done in a way as to remind of the western way of life. Dancing on live country-and-western music will help you get in the western mood even more.
This is an event not to be missed and it would be better to make your fist visit to Pendleton in this period as you will definitely see the city with different eyes than if you would come in the rest of the year when it is a lot quieter, that is if you are a person who likes a bit of action going on!
For a bit of action outside the event head to the Wildhorse Casino Resort featuring all sorts of gambling opportunities, golf playing and other.
All year round attractions are the famous Pendleton Woolen Mills everybody has heard about as they produced and still produce top quality Native American-inspired blankets and classic wool sportswear. The prime material is the wool as sheep farming is prosperous in the area. The wool is produced here and turned into fabric. A tour of the mill is both educational and fun.
You can catch up with the region's history at the Umatilla County Historical Society Museum boosting exhibits that focus on regional history while at the Pendleton Center for the Arts you can see some exceptional art exhibits.
A visit to Pendleton can be fun and educational, you just have to come and see it for yourself.
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